A unit of Lions District 322B1 (Welfare Trust), 27/8A Waterloo Street, Kolkata 700069, Ph: 033-22485778, 22485780, 8100100090,      Lions Den B-126, Metropolitan Cooperative Housing Society, South Canal Road, Kolkata - 700105, Ph: 23232233, 23232244, 8100100080     
  • Lion Blood Bank
  • Lion Blood Bank
  • Lion Blood Bank
  • Lion Blood Bank
  • Lion Blood Bank

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is blood? How much blood does a person have?


Blood is a red coloured fluid containing red blood corpuscles,white blood corpuscles,platelets etc and plasma that is pumped through the body continuously by the heart in our body\'s circulatory system. It carries oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and carries away waste products.

Blood accounts for 8% of the human body weight. On an average there are about 5 - 6 litres of blood present.

Q: What is the composition of blood?


The main components of blood include three types of cells and the plasma, which is the liquid in which the cells float. The three types of blood cells are red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Some secondary components of blood are nutrients, clotting agents, various hormones, and waste products that have not yet been removed from the body

Q: 3. What are the functions of these components?


(a) Plasma: Plasma is a fluid in which cellular elements are suspended along with many substances like glucose, fats, and proteins, enzymes, and hormones etc.

(b) Red Cells: These cells use haemoglobin to transport oxygen from lungs to various body tissues and take back carbon dioxide from the cells and tissues to be thrown out of body in the form of exhaled air.

(c) White cells: White blood cells fight infection. They help in directing what the immune system does and also manufacture antibodies. They also act as defence forces of the body killing the bacteria or any other organisms entering the body.

(d) Platelets: Platelets help in the clotting and coagulation of blood. When platelets are exposed to the air, which happens when a wound bleeds, they break down to release a substance into the blood. This substance turns into long strings, which mat together to form a clot that keeps red blood cells from escaping the body through the wound. This helps to prevent excessive blood loss.

Q: What is haemoglobin?


Haemoglobin is a protein-based component of red blood cells. Its main function is to transfer oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Presence of haemoglobin makes red blood cells appear red. Oxygen-rich blood is noticeably brighter than the depleted blood returning to the heart and lungs.

Fresh haemoglobin is produced in the bone marrow as needed. On an average, in a healthy male it should be between 14 - 16 gm % and in a female it should be about 12 - 14 gm %.

Q: What are blood groups?


Every individual has two types of blood groups. The first is called the ABO - grouping and the second type is called Rh - grouping.

In the ABO - group there are four categories namely A Group, B Group, O Group and AB Group.

In the Rh - Group either the individual is Rh-positive, or Rh-negative. Rh is a factor called as Rhesus factor that has named from Rhesus monkeys.

Thus each and every human being falls in one of the following groups:

A positive or A negative
B positive or B negative
O positive or O negative
AB positive or AB negative
There are also some sub groups as well as a few other classifications.



Blood Types

Q: What is the importance of knowing the blood groups?


When asked, many people do not know their blood type, but a person’s blood type is very important for all practical and routine purposes. A person’s blood type becomes a crucial matter when a blood transfusion is necessary. It is ideal to transfuse to the patient the same group of blood which he belongs to. It is only under very dire emergency that we take O group as universal donor and AB groups as universal recipient. Under no circumstances O group can get any other blood except O. Similarly A group patient cannot be given B group blood and vice versa.

If an individual is transfused with the wrong blood type, a reaction that severely compromises the immune system can result. There are different levels at which a mismatched transfusion can occur, from minor to major incompatibility. Minor factors may lead to very minor problems, but a major incompatibility of blood type during a transfusion can be serious.

Q: Why are Rh –ve and Rh +ve incompatible?


The Rhesus factor is a substance in blood by which human blood may be divided by its presence into (Rh +ve) or (Rh -ve) groups. A patient with Rh-negative blood cannot be given Rh-positive blood as the antigen-antibody reactions will result in severe consequences. This is called Rh incompatibility or the Rh disease.

Rh incompatibility also occurs when the mother\'s blood type is Rh negative and her fetus\'s blood type is Rh positive. This happens in cases where a woman has Rh negative and her husband has Rh positive.

With Rh incompatibility, if some fetal blood gets into the bloodstream of the mother, her body will produce antibodies. These antibodies could pass to the baby and harm the developing baby\'s red blood cells, causing very mild to very serious anemia in the fetus.

The first baby is usually safe, because fetal and maternal blood usually do not mix until delivery. If the second baby is also Rh positive, there’s a risk that the mother’s antibodies will attack her blood cells and cause problems.

Q: How can the Rh disease be prevented during pregnancy?


To prevent Rh disease, mothers, who are Rh negative, receive intramuscular injections with a drug called Rhogam. Rhogam removes Rh positive fetal RBCs from the mother’s bloodstream before her body recognizes them and begins making antibodies.

All mothers who are Rh negative receive a shot of Rhogam around 28 weeks. They may get an extra shot if they have bleeding early in pregnancy, or if they have a procedure such as an amniocentesis that might cause fetal blood cells to be mixed into their circulation.

Q: Can we separate blood into its components?


Using the latest technology, blood banks can now directly draw a particular component from the donor, while the rest of the blood constituents go back to the donor. Also, sophisticated machines can be used to make components of blood and store them.
In most progressive blood banks more than 85 % of the blood collected is converted into components and stored. This is because many patients do not require whole blood.

Blood plasma can be separated from whole blood and stored up to one year in frozen state at -30 º to - 80 º C temperature or below. This is called Fresh Frozen Plasma. Similarly there are other components like Platelet Rich Plasma; Platelet Concentrate (can be stored as a life saving measure upto 5 days now at 22- 24 degrees C in a platelet incubator and agitator); Cryoprecipitate (which is very useful in treating bleeding disorders due to the deficiency of factor VIII and IX); Factor VIII and IX; Albumin, Globulin and many others.

Q: What is a unit of blood?


A unit of whole blood is 350-450 millilitres for components of blood, one unit is the amount of that substance that would normally be found in one unit of whole blood.

Q: What are the different types of blood donations?


There are three types of blood donors: -

1) Professional Donors: : Blood collected from professional blood sellers is generally sub-standard with low haemoglobin content. It can also be a carrier of various blood communicable diseases like Jaundice, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, HIV etc. It is illegal to take blood from any professional donor and it is a punisable offence.

2) Replacement Donation: Where healthy relatives and friends of the patient give their blood, of any group, to the blood bank. In exchange, the required number of units in the required blood group is given for the patient.

3) Voluntary Donation: Where a donor donates blood voluntarily, even without divulging the identity of the donor. This is the most desired type of blood donation where a motivated human being gives blood in an act of selfless service.

Q: Which medical conditions require blood?


Accident victims, premature babies, patients undergoing major surgeries require whole blood, where the blood after testing is used directly. Patients suffering from Trauma, Anaemia, and other surgeries require only red blood cells, which is separated from the blood.

Similarly blood platelets are used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or for those undergoing treatment for dengue fever etc. Fresh frozen plasma is used for patients having massive transfusions, plasma is used for burns and cryoprecipitate is used for hemophilia.

Q: Who is a healthy donor?


Any person within the age group of 18 - 60 years with a minimum body weight of 45 kilos and a minimum haemoglobin content of 12.5 gm%.

Q: Who should not donate blood?


A donor is unfit to donate blood if he/she:

    Medical Conditions:
  • Is not filling well for any reason.
  • Is suffering from condition like hemophilia, Thallasemia or any other blood disorder.
  • Has had hepatitis any time after their eleventh birthday.
  • Has multiple sclerosis.
  • Has cold, sore throat, respiratory infection, or flu.
  • Has difficulty of breathing, shortness of breath, astha, etc.
  • Has had Measles, mumps, chicken pox in the past three weeks.
  • Has had Tuberculosis (T.B.) and is under medication since less than two years.
  • Has had a vaccination in the last 24 hours.
  • Has taken alcohol in the last 48 hours.
  • Has had a miscarriage in last 6 months or has been pregnant or lactating in the last one year.
  • Is menstruating. It is safer to donate a week after it.
  • Has been taking drugs like antibiotics, Aspirin, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetics, hormones, corticosteroids etc.
  • Has ever taken narcotic drugs by intravenous route.
  • Sniffed cocaine or any other restricted drugs within last 12 months.
  • Has had open heart surgery in last three years.
  • Has had surgery for a serious injury and the wound hasn’t healed as yet .
  • Has had undergone dental work like root canal or extraction of tooth within seventy-two hours.
  • Has had blood transfusion in last one year.
    Sexually transmitted disease:
  • Has had venereal disease, Chlamydia, genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea.
  • Has had sex with a male or female prostitute.


  • Intravanus Drug users.

Q: What is the procedure of blood donation?


  • You are welcomed to the camp with a smile and words of encouragement on arrival.
  • You fill in the donor form where you provide statutory particulars about yourself, including your health status.
  • You are examined by a doctor. A blood sample is taken for testing the haemoglobin count. Your Weight and blood pressure are also checked.
  • You are directed to a comfortable couch that helps you relax once you are Okayed by the doctor to donate blood.
  • The procedure is quick and easy. You have good company, doctors, technicians, and other donors.
  • Post donation, you are given some juice and some snacks, and are adviced to rest for a while.
  • Later, in the lab, your blood is meticulously labelled, processed into 3 different components, tested, and added to the Blood Bank stocks within a few hours of donation.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases, before it can be released to hospitals.

Q: How long does the donation take?


The procedure is done by skilled, specially trained technicians and takes three to eight minutes. However, from start to finish, i.e., from filling up the form to post donation rest, the entire process takes about 35 minutes.

Q: How much blood can a person donate?


Maximum 450 ml. of blood can be donated .

Q: How long will it take for the body to replenish the blood?


The body replaces blood volume or plasma within 72 hours.

Q: How frequently a donor can donate blood?


Three months interval between the consecutive donation is necessary .

Q: Are there any other benefits of blood donation?


Apart from blood donation being a noble and selfless service that gives the donor a feeling of joy and contentment, it has other benefits too.

  1. It has been observed that increase in blood iron level increases the chance of heart disease. Regular blood donation helps especially males in loosing iron on regular basis. It helps in reducing the chance of heart attack to one third.
  2. As the blood is withdrawn from the donors body there is decrease in blood cells. To replenish it, immediately new cells are produced by marrow and this way blood gets refreshed.
  3. One Unit of blood (450 ml) when donated burns 650 calories in donor’s body.

Q: Does Lions Blood Bank issue blood to Lions only?


Lions Blood Bank is established with a view to serving the community, irrespective of colour, caste, religion, with safe and healthy blood, hence anyone can receive blood from the bank.